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wartime ration pack question
http://www.wwiireenacting.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=80&t=18492
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Author:  snowyx2622 [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 17:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

as said its not a simple white/black thing, the grey area is massive.

Author:  SaddleTramp [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 18:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Stan Ellis, WW2 veteran and volunteer at Bushy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP3FMLvSczE

I've just done a 24hr box from the pdf I have, but it's different form the photos so far, in that it's rectabgular, as opposed to square which the ones shown appear ot be...

What would be the measurements, and would to conclude, how common where Brit rations?

Anyone got solid evidence, specifications, photographs, or even original examples I could have the measurements?

Author:  jonheyworth [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 18:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

In the military museum in Monmouth there is a stunningly beautiful mint tin of WW2 Brit rations.

It is standard baked bean sized can and is painted a dark green, it is stamped by rubber stamp in white and reads something like

"mixed fruit pudding 9/43 made by abc ltd" or something like that

Author:  TALLERTHANBETTY [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 18:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Collins wrote:
if they are jungle rations surely they should be in waterproof packaging, it appears that they are packaged in standard brown paper. or am i missing something obvious here


They were, the later jungle ration came in a large, sealed tin with ring-pull opening I think. I believe Martin is also correct in that the rations shown in that photo are from the jungle ration, the style of packing and 'snack' ration tallies with written accounts of how the Jungle ration was packed. Problem is that lot's of items from various periods and types of ration tend to get mixed in together these days, it's difficult to reverse-engineer what was what and how it was packed. I'm leaning towards looking for more primary sources from the mid-war period to really get a handle on what was developed and issued.

Author:  rmcommando [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 21:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

There is this thread going on about boxes....

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=30343

One thing that is common, in both sense's of the word, are stews, bully beef and biscuits. I found, "With the Jocks" to be an interesting read, from a reenactor standpoint about food.

I am a new "serious" student of the British Army. I have dabbled for 20 years. I have only put real research into it in the last year. The last book that I read, "Something about a Soldier", the author mentions getting a small tin of pineapple in the desert. He got it from a roving Naafi truck. Just another little tid bit of information.

The film is interesting. I wonder if they were recieving Canadian rations. The Dodgers seem to get more US and Canadian stuff, than was common to the ETO.

Martin

Author:  Collins [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

TALLERTHANBETTY wrote:
Collins wrote:
if they are jungle rations surely they should be in waterproof packaging, it appears that they are packaged in standard brown paper. or am i missing something obvious here


They were, the later jungle ration came in a large, sealed tin with ring-pull opening I think. I believe Martin is also correct in that the rations shown in that photo are from the jungle ration, the style of packing and 'snack' ration tallies with written accounts of how the Jungle ration was packed. Problem is that lot's of items from various periods and types of ration tend to get mixed in together these days, it's difficult to reverse-engineer what was what and how it was packed. I'm leaning towards looking for more primary sources from the mid-war period to really get a handle on what was developed and issued.


thanks

Author:  Oggy [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

I suspect that Pineapple would have been a supplement to normal rations - The story of how the Pioneers got their nickname of Chunkies is linked...

Author:  SaddleTramp [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

So, to conclude...

The British Army had some sort of Composite Ration, which was a days subsistence for 14 men, but there are no records one can check, no one has any examples, and no British Army Quarter Master specifications... That includes the 24hr Ration, which was issued some time in Italy, and some units got issued two of them (24hr) on D-1 Overlord?

The Canadians had them aswell, but as above....

They got Bully beef and biscuits, at some time or other...

The British got issued U.S Army rations most of the time (I'll now direct you to my website, see below), question, would that have been part of "Len Lease"?...

If the above is true, then, really, all British ration issue, whether for private battles or display is really, just fantasy and one can just make up a ration based on researched assumption and the "it looks right" attitude?

Author:  Redcapsarge [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

In his book "Memoirs of a soldier," Doug Heathfield-Robinson, who landed on D-Day as a DUKW Driver with the RASC, describes that prior to embarking he was issued with a 24hr Compo Ration pack, containing;

A 3/4lb tin of corned beef.
A packet of 8 cubes of "compact" (tea, powdered milk and sugar).
4 oatmeal biscuits.
A packet of eight biscuits "more like dog biscuits".
A 2oz bar of chocolate.
A few boiled sweets.
A box of matches.

Plus a tin of 50 cigarettes and a solid fuel cooker.

This would seem to bear similarities to the 24hr Ration pack in a cardboard box, though presumably the corned beef was an extra.

Author:  Redcapsarge [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

These lists are taken from the same source I quoted in my earlier post, below is in an extract from the document, which was issued by the War Office.

The Composite (14-men) pack was produced for feeding troops on operations, for periods not exceeding 6 weeks and immediately following the consumption of the 24hr ration, which was normally in issue for the first 2 days.

There were two categories of Compo pack - one with biscuit (having seven varieties identified as Types "A" to "G") and one without biscuit for when fresh bread was available, this comprising three varieties designated Types 1, 2 and 3. Solid fuel cookers were not included in either type. The compo pack was not designed for long-term feeding.

Author:  Oggy [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Paul - that gives the impression that, unlike nowadays, there was a unit cental point for feeding?

Author:  SaddleTramp [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Thanks for that Paul, much obliged, any chance you can PM me the book ref. number etc?

I've just read that the British Army serving with the U.S 5th Army in the Italian theatre, between October 1943 and May 1945 received just over a million US rations...

Author:  Redcapsarge [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

The ISBN of the book is 0-9534971-9-4, published 2005 by "Bound Biographies" www.boundbiographies.com. I think it was a relatively small print run but you might still be able to get copies. Unfortunately, Doug doesn't quote in the book any official War Office document reference for where the tables came from, although he acknowledges Crown Copyright so there must have been an official source. Sadly, Doug died at the beginning of last year, he was a very active member of our local Normandy Veterans Branch.

In answer to your question Oggy, the idea of the compo pack was that indeed there would be centralised cooking arrangements, presumably using petrol stoves or makeshift fires/ovens. The make-up of a pack doesn't lend itself easily to splitting it up between 14 individual men.

Has anyone considered approaching the Royal Logistic Corps Museum at Camberley? As the succcessor to the Aldershot Concrete Company I'd have thought they may have records, photos or documents detailing the ration packs.

The one thing that has eluded me is trying to locate smooth sided tins of the right size, that are made in gold coloured metal, in order to replicate the tins of the Compo pack. I have found smaller tins which would be ideal if they were bigger, but these days everything seems to be in ribbed tins. Anyone know of any sources?

Author:  SaddleTramp [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Redcapsarge wrote:
The ISBN of the book is 0-9534971-9-4, published 2005 by "Bound Biographies" http://www.boundbiographies.com. I think it was a relatively small print run but you might still be able to get copies. Unfortunately, Doug doesn't quote in the book any official War Office document reference for where the tables came from, although he acknowledges Crown Copyright so there must have been an official source. Sadly, Doug died at the beginning of last year, he was a very active member of our local Normandy Veterans Branch.

In answer to your question Oggy, the idea of the compo pack was that indeed there would be centralised cooking arrangements, presumably using petrol stoves or makeshift fires/ovens. The make-up of a pack doesn't lend itself easily to splitting it up between 14 individual men.

Has anyone considered approaching the Royal Logistic Corps Museum at Camberley? As the succcessor to the Aldershot Concrete Company I'd have thought they may have records, photos or documents detailing the ration packs.

The one thing that has eluded me is trying to locate smooth sided tins of the right size, that are made in gold coloured metal, in order to replicate the tins of the Compo pack. I have found smaller tins which would be ideal if they were bigger, but these days everything seems to be in ribbed tins. Anyone know of any sources?


Again, thanks for yer info...

As regards tins, aldis/lidls (always get them both mixed up for some reason) they sell evaporated milk and used to do clementines in smooth sided, now ring pull and ribbed (they where ideal for C ration tins- I remember buying all the crates on the shelf of them, the next customer "I can ye see ye like clementines", little did he know), ye can get small tins from other stores, things like tomato puree and sardines which I know are close to US army rations, but know of little other nations rations...

Hope this helps...

Author:  Oggy [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 15:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Cheers Paul

Author:  Collins [ Mon Mar 21, 2011 17:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: wartime ration pack question

Just an update on the ones ive made. Ive now waxed the boxes and to be honest with you it was a bit of a pain in the arse. trying to get an even coat without the wax drying off too early took some doing, turns out the best one i did was the first one, they got progressivly worse from then on in

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